Malaysia still great place to do business: PM on US-Asean Business Council

Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the 34th Asean Summit (Plenary) in Bangkok, Thailand, yesterday. (Bernama pic). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.


NEW YORK, Sep 27, 2019, MalayMail. Malaysia remains very business friendly and continues to welcome foreign investments in the country, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. “Malaysia is still the same Malaysia that once upon a time was very friendly with business people, encouraged foreign direct investment, grew on the basis of such investment and solved our unemployment problem,” he said, reported the MalayMail.

“It’s the same although I am now no longer in Barisan Nasional but the ideas are still coming a lot from me because the new Cabinet is new and a lot of things are brought to my desk and I will try to resolve them for the ministers.

“But the ministers are learning fast so you can expect Malaysia to be the Malaysia that is business-friendly, that will listen to the private sector, that will depend more on the private sector and less on government-run companies,” he said during a meeting with the US-Asean Business Council and the US Chamber of Commerce here.

He also said that once Pakatan Harapan came into power, it realised that the damage done by the previous government was far greater than expected.

“The last time I was here (in 2018), I wasn’t very knowledgeable about what was happening. We discovered all sorts of new things we didn’t know.

“The damage was not only on the financial side where they borrowed more than RM1 trillion but also the machinery of government was undermined.

“A lot of them became involved in corrupt practices and we had to get rid of them,” he said.

Dr Mahathir also said Malaysia’s economic situation was improving.

“We have been able to reduce some of the amount of money we are owing to all kinds of creditors but it will still be a burden for us and it has affected our ability for development, to attend to infrastructures, et cetera

“And yet we have to move into this new way of doing business. New kinds of equipment are needed, particularly with regards to education, which requires a lot of money,” he added.

The prime minister said Malaysia was still receiving “a lot of investments from abroad”.

“But unfortunately, every different rumour results in people pulling out. A lot of foreign investors pulled out and the stock market has come down a lot and we need to resuscitate that.

“For that of course we need to assure people that Malaysia is still in a position to recover. We have put in place all the necessary instruments.

“We are managing our finances quite well. We thought that we might go bankrupt but we are not bankrupt and are still growing at 4.5 per cent per year,” he added.

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